As part of its new industrial strategy, backed by a €159 billion investment plan, the Volkswagen Group is reorganizing the European production chain. The result is a redistribution of models between the various factories of the group. The Belgian Audi factory in Forrest is not making any profit. It sees its hopes evaporate to also be able to produce a Q4 E-Tron. From 2026, the site should have no more than the Q8 E-Tron which replaces the current E-Tron SUV.
>> Read also – the successor to the Audi E-Tron will also be built in Forest
Germany and Spain are growing
The factory in Hanover works best at home. It has moved on to building exclusive electric models, including a camper version of the upcoming ID.Buzz, called ID.California. It’s compensation for the relocation of Porsche’s upcoming flagship electric vehicle which the brand will now apparently build within its own enterprise. In addition, as part of the Artemis project, Hanover will assemble the Bentley white bodywork based on the PPE platform. However, British luxury vehicles will continue to be completed and finished at Crewe in the UK. Two PPE-certified Porsche models, including the upcoming electric Macan, will be on their own in Leipzig. Audi will build the production version of the Grandsphere concept on the same platform from 2024, but not in Brussels. If we stay with Porsche for a while, we read that the branch in Bratislava, which is currently in charge of the Cayenne, will also allow it to produce the electric version of the large SUV.
>> Read also – Porsche will present two generations of Macan at the same time
Audi will also take care of the assembly of its large A6 mid-ranger, which will roll off the production line at the Neckarsulm plant in Germany from next year. At Volkswagen, the historic Wolfsburg plant will become the only European site from 2023 to produce the ID.3 mid-range electric compact engine, which will be manufactured in Zwickau for the time being.
Another country that has benefited from the reorganization is Spain. The Seat Martorell plant will produce several electric models for the group, subject to government incentives. The Pamplona site will produce electric SUVs and is also a candidate for building small electric vehicles, which will be called ID.1 and ID.2.
Did Belgium get off the boat?
This redistribution of cards doesn’t give the Audi factory in Forest a good hand. The production Audi Q4 E-Tron was expected to complement the Q8 E-Tron – the successor to the current E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback. The Belgian branch should only be satisfied with the larger branch of the two. This means less production and therefore expansion plans are revised.
Although the Volkswagen Group expects electric cars to make up about 25% of total production by 2026, compared to the current 5-6%, the assignment of a single top model to its Belgian plant limits the latter’s prospects. This is while creating a new, state-of-the-art site near Wolfsburg for the production of Volkswagen’s flagship car codenamed Trinity. This model will get the autonomous driving technology that should catch up with Tesla.
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